- April 28, 2019
- Posted by Elias Romanoff- Youth Leader
The first week of work training was, put simply inspiring. Being paid to immerse yourself in nature, history, leadership education, and all that encompasses working with MCC, is a one of kind opportunity. After the first day, I knew that I was exactly where I was meant to be, surrounded by like-minded individuals, discussing principles of conservation, activism, servitude, youth education, the importance of immersing oneself in nature, and doing so while soaking up the early Spring heat. After our first day of work I was tired, enlightened, exited, and filled with an energetic drive. The feeling you get when you step into the unknown is always intimidating, however this last week was so much more. In the past five days, I was reawakened to my love of community, quality conversation, knots, games, and the feeling of abundance.
Our first week as youth crew leaders was packed with information, lessons, coffee, and a healthy amount of laughter. we spent the week doing a variety of things, such as introductions, riveting forest service driving videos from the 80’s I assume, CORE lessons, driving tests, and so much more. It is hard to recall all that was done in training this last week, as everyday was a constant flow of new information. That being the case, I still remain confident and exited for the information to continue accumulating in a full-scoped understanding of what Montana Conservation Corps is all about. I am confident that as the weeks go on the youth crew leaders and myself will continue to piece together the many facets the make up the organization.
On Wednesday, we packed up the rig and spent two days at the Missouri Headwaters State Park. We learned of Lewis and Clarks time spent at the headwaters, helped fix a fence that had fallen into the river, tied knots, talked tools, looked at moose tracks, and continued to learn about the many aspects of CORE, such as the stretch circle morning safety briefing, and group expectations for the coming season. Being able to work in places, such as the headwaters, is not fully appreciated for what it is until you are in such a position. Being able work outside along a crew of individuals from across the country and being able to spend time in nature is a true blessing.
Our week was full of lessons, games, tying knots, stretching, working trails, Leave no Trace policies, discussing community engagement, and youth education in wilderness. On Friday, we spent the day at the Monforton middle school and elementary school doing Earth Day education and outreach. We picked up trash, played tag with seventy kindergarteners, discussed what Earth Day means to us, planted Basil, and gained a new-found appreciation for elementary school teachers. Many of us were overwhelmed within an hour… I cannot leave out a brief story about that day that highlights the beauty of a young child’s mind and the curiosity that so many of us have seemingly lost. Hannah, a youth leader from Hershey Pennsylvania, was approached by a young girl who asked the following, “How do we breathe during the winter when all the leaves on the trees have fallen off?” This was the highlight of Hannah’s day. We will never truly understand or appreciate the insightfulness and curiosity of a child’s mind. It highlights the insightfulness of children and the fact that they are constantly asking questions such as this. We can all learn from children, they allow us to take a step back and look at the world through their eyes, seeing the unexplained and constantly seeking a deeper understanding of life.
Cheers to a season full of hard work, new lessons, new friends, and a new appreciation for the world we all share!
- Knot of the week: Alpine Butterfly
- Quote of the week: “I don’t know what I am doing, lets figure it out!”
- Game of the week: YEEEYHAWWW
- Smell of the week: Burning Juniper
Elias Romanoff- Youth Crew Leader
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